Stephen Holton is an Episcopal priest who lives and works in the Hudson Valley region of New York. One day during morning prayer, he found himself arranging words “like puzzle pieces” in the traditional syllabic structure of Japanese haiku. Creating these simple three-line poems turned into a daily ritual—Holton’s way of capturing and exploring momentary emotions, observations of nature and the world, and insights into faith and life.
Friends and followers relish Holton’s haiku as they appear on social media. Some deal with the issues confronting our communities and the world, from the COVID pandemic to racial injustice: In the heart of an / incarcerated nation, / God comes with healing.
Others deal with the joys, challenges, and mysteries of our spiritual journey: In many cultures, / Jesus comes in many ways; / today, in crumb cake.
Still others focus on the small, often unnoticed moments of humor, pathos, and connection that make daily life meaningful: I wait politely. / Kissing couple blocks the door. / This may take a while.
Now many of the best of Stephen Holton's haiku have been gathered for this book.
HAIKU FOR THE ROAD by Stephen Holton
“Holton's emotional openness gives his verse a warmth, wit, and spiritual appeal that a wide audience could enjoy. . . . Readers interested in clever and often moving haiku related to spirituality and everyday life will delight in this observational poetry.”—BookLife Reviews
“Delicate, earthy, and elegant, Stephen Holton's collection of haiku poems dance between the physical and metaphysical worlds. Haiku for the Road invites readers to be fully present to what is: the beauty, the simplicity, the pain, and the renewal—the gift, in other words, of this life. If the Divine spoke in verse, I bet it would sound a lot like Stephen's poems.”—Heather Ostman, author of The Second Chance Home for Girls
“These poignant, witty, and deep verbal snapshots constitute in fact a welcome 21st century contribution to the venerable genre of wisdom literature, and speak to the situation of the contemporary person of faith.”—Clair McPherson, Professor of Ascetical Theology and Church History, General Theological Seminary